Protect and Survive: A Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Macragge1, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Macragge1 Banned

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    Yeah - the fact is, no-one's looking so they can afford to be bastards - America's obviously way too busy being devastated - they can say whatever they want, and no-one (apart from Britain obvs) really has the time or will to question them - but still, the idea of a 'rescue' will resound with those at home - even the anti-militarists.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Stateless Well-Known Watermelon

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    I can't now find where I read it, but at the beginning of the 80s the organisation tasked with stockpiling provisions for the government in the event of a nuclear war only had sufficient amounts of tea. It's rather quite British really.
     
  3. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    I have read that; government drivers were supposed to have been issued with the correct change. The problem with the story is that insiders have a history of winding journalists and historians up. After all Chapman Pincher was told in all seriousness that the government was stockpiling condoms for the immediate aftermath to prevent mutations. All cobblers, of course. :D
    The other story I read was that the government would use the existing AA radio network when the PM was out and about.

    On the tea example in the '60s the RSGs has a Regional Tea Officer.
     
  4. Macragge1 Banned

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    That reminds me of the fabulously optimistic daily meals thrown about by the authorities in The War Game - can't remember it exactly, but it's like, every day, the survivors would nominally get 'roast beef, yorkshire puddings etc- and apple pie with clotted cream' - as the V/O is accompanying a shot of a food riot, it's clear to see Watkins' faith in this - i wonder if the big bearded guy's outburst in Threads (BASTARDS!!!) was by way of reference to this...
     
  5. Philadelphus Well-Known Member

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    What's BOOB?
     
  6. Macragge1 Banned

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    Bolt out-of the Blue attack - proper four-minute warning stuff
     
  7. Philadelphus Well-Known Member

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  8. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

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    This TL is very good and shows very well the emotional aspects of a nuclear war, with all the fears and tragedies that would take place in such scenario.

    Keep up the good work, Macragge1!:)
     
  9. WarBastard Banned

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    Why did the USSR initiate nuclear war?
     
  10. Forever_found Well-Known Member

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    I find the idea of that to be awfully fascinating. Hand written letters. The thought!

    I'm not quite sure I believe you. Are you only half-joking?
     
  11. Stateless Well-Known Watermelon

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    I've had a look, and I've got it topsy-turvy. In the 1950s and 1960s, of the essential supplies needed in the event of a nuclear attack (meat, grain, dairy products, oils and fats, sugar and tea), the only one they were not able to provide was tea.

    This was a great cause of worry. If we didn't have any tea, how could British civilisation be said to have survived? It's believed they never solved this problem.

    Read all about it.
     
  12. Macragge1 Banned

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    Thanks a lot!

    It's kept pretty vague, but basically, a power struggle in '83 ended up with the worst, most paranoid geriatrics in power - they remember Barbarossa, and convince themselves that they must pre-empt a perceived western attack.

    Speaking pedantically, it was actually the US who initiated nuclear war when they utilised a battlefield nuclear device on advancing WP forces in West Germany.

    Thanks for that link - there's some interesting stuff on that site - i.e http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkhNED3-mnI&feature=player_embedded this - which was broadcast FOR CHILDREN in the States.
     
  13. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    We apparently did come pretty close to a war in '83 (though how close is disputed). The version that says pretty close suggests that a NATO table-top exercise was mistaken by the paranoid leadership to be preparations for a real war.
    Soviet ELINT noticed greater signals traffic between the UK and USA, and agents on the ground saw that the lights were on late at night in the MoD in London, which suggested something was going on (at least to the Soviets).

    However what they did not know was that the signals traffic was related to the US invasion of Grenada, a Commonwealth country where the Queen was still head of state, and that the lights were on at night in the MoD to allow the cleaners to do their job. That illustrated two things:

    1. The Soviets were expecting to see preparations for war, so they saw them.
    2. It illustrated how good the KGB was at gathering intelligence, but how bad it was at analysing what it actually meant.

    Don't laugh too much at the worry over no tea. It is a natural antiseptic and kills waterborne diseases. It's said that large cities could not have existed in the UK without tea and that therefore there would have been no industrial revolution.
     
  14. Imperator Frank Member

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    The North Vietnamese Army is usually referred to as the ANV(Army of North Vietnam)
     
  15. Lemon flavoured British Miami Dolphins fan

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    I think you're referring to Able Archer 83:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Able_Archer_83
     
  16. JN1 Who Patrick Harvie wishes he was

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    That's the one. There is a good documentary made about it, however some historians dispute how close we actually came. Similarly many dispute how crucial the actions of that Soviet warning officer were and suggest that he actually wasn't disciplined.
     
  17. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    yes, really good stuff, to reiterate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  18. Macragge1 Banned

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    If you're talking about the Channel 4 one, i do remember it being pretty good (it's on 4OD for anyone who's interested BTW) except for one part; during a montage of Western and Eastern nuclear weapons, there's just this shot of a Space Shuttle taking off - massive sigh.

    One would hope that, even if the guy had given the order to fire, someone, somewhere would have gone 'hang on a minute' - then again, what with the immense pressure one must feel whilst 'under attack' and the geriatric, paranoid Politburo, who knows - it's scary stuff.

    Thanks man!

    Next part's up in the next couple of days.
     
  19. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    and that's the info I was looking for :D thank you.
     
  20. Macragge1 Banned

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    VI - Casualties

    Leave the body for the time being in a trench, or cover it with earth.

    Within four hours, the last device has hit the UK.

    Within four hours, the population has dropped by some fifteen million people - it continues to fall. The entire country smells like a barbecue. The sky is fat with ash, and those who live choke on those who have died.

    The largest undamaged town on the mainland is now Dudley, in the West Midlands. Its population of 150,000 breathe something of a sigh of relief as they step out of their shelters. They also breathe in the remains of Birmingham. The Mayor of Dudley (quite beyond his remit, but communications with the Midlands RSG are cut) orders troops to defend the town hospitals and food warehouse.

    In Newcastle, rescue efforts begin in earnest. The Fire Brigade has been ordered not to attempt to fight fires - the appliances' key role is now water transportation and decontamination. Despite this, some firemen look upon the inferno south of the river and resolve to do something - they didn't join up to hide in quarries whilst their families roasted. Merely getting close to the firestorm is extremely difficult - many roads are blocked. Upon reaching the outer reaches of the firestorm, the paint peels off the red engines. One Green Goddess simply bursts into flames itself. Hacking their way into overturned cars and family homes, the firefighters put their breathlessness down to exhaustion and stress - in fact, they are asphyxiating, and several simply fall asleep inside burning buildings or upon bubbling tarmac. Their actions are noble and heroic and foolish. 40% of the Fire Brigade's water reserve is depleted fighting the blaze.

    Most of those with shelters remain there, as ordered by the BBC's Wartime Broadcasting Service.

    The police (and even some units of the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service) now receive their weapons - a grab-bag assortment of anything that could be begged, borrowed or stolen from anywhere from Army garrisons to museums.

    Rescue services and exposed survivors within a five mile radius of the Hebbon and Ponteland blasts now begin to receive a lethal dose of radiation - for now though, its symptoms (mostly vomiting and exhaustion) are indistinguishable from shock.

    The walking wounded - mainly suffering from broken-glass cuts, broken bones and burns - begin shambing towards one of Newcastle's three hospitals - overwhelmed will not begin to cover it (as will be explored later on).

    The last nuclear weapon to detonate during The Exchange is unseen and unheard by anybody - it bursts just as it hits the waves of the South Atlantic. It is unknown whether this is a Russian miss (Ascension and the Falklands were both spared) or a NATO miss (though what the intended target for this weapon could have been is unknown).

    *

    The County Controller is desperately trying to contact his colleagues up and down the country. All that can be picked up from London is heavy interference (although many in the bunker swear that they are hearing screaming). During the first day, radio operators are only able to receive snippets of panicked correspondence - no actual contact is made; each control is simply shooting its panicked messages into the scorched air. As it happens, Newcastle Civic Centre has been lucky - the copper spire has been severely damaged and every window is gone, but the Hebbon blast was far enough away that the structure itself stands - short of concussions (some) and shock (all), those in the bunker are physically unharmed. It is clear to see from the looks in their eyes, as markers are placed on boards and circles on maps, that these men and women are far from undamaged. With his head still seeping into a bandage, the Controller did his best to balance composure with compassion as he does the rounds about the bunker - a firm hand on the shoulder, a promise that it'll be alright. The Controller thanks God every moment that his wife crashed her car last year.

    *

    For the Shopkeeper, the end of the world smells like baked beans - he has eaten remarkably well since the attack. As it turns out, he is overstocked. His wife's heart went with the sirens. He offers a spoonful of the cold red Heinz to the other figure in the shelter - she gives her refusal with silence. Ah well, thinks the Shopkeeper, licking his lips. All the more for me.

    *

    The Constable doesn't remember being picked up by a police van - indeed, the whole period is a blur of radio voices and shouting. He thinks he hears that the HQ at Pont. is gone, but honestly, he's not sure. His memories become coherent right at the point where he is issued a revolver. It is not until he feels the strangeness of the weight in his hand (he has never held a gun before) that he truly realises what is going on. He bursts into tears - a harsh slap from a Sergeant does little to soothe his nerves. Nevertheless, he gets back into the van and heads towards ground zero. A gas mask would be nice, but he settles for a scarf wrapped around his mouth and nose.
    As the policemen disembark, there are already soldiers at the edge of the destroyed area. They watch 'survivors' stumble through the smoke. A naked, brown figure drags a mashed leg up towards the soldiers. The mouth makes movements as if to speak, but only phlegm and teeth come out. A single shot rings out and the hairless head implodes. Only by the jewellery fused around her arms could one have worked out that this was a young girl. A few bodies lie uncovered, but the Constable notices a relatively clean pair of blue trousers and black boots hidden under a duvet. He doesn't realise that he is now staring; he is brought back to reality by a passing gas-mask - 'one of your lot, mate - he wouldn't shoot so... so the Captain just did him.' - there is a moment of absolute silence as the Constable takes this in - his brain is racing to find a reply - anger, probably - instead, he finds himself stuttering incoherently. The soldier gives him one last look - from his eyes, it looks like he could be sorry - then again, it could just be fatigue. Somewhere nearby, a car goes up. He has been out of it for minutes, and turns to realise that the column of police and troops have moved on into the smoke. He jogs ahead, searching for them. Choose the fucking cowboys.

    *

    The Old Man and his Wife never used to hold hands in public - that was an affectation for teenagers courting, and the newlyweds- that had been the Old Man's view. Still, they hadn't really much choice now. They didn't know where they were going - naturally, the Old Man hadn't planned this far ahead. So far, someone had crudely bandaged up both their faces; someone else had stolen the last of their bread. They wandered, hands stooped low in front of them like children hunting Easter Eggs. Suddenly, the Old Man heard a mouse voice - was she singing? - yes, an old Vera Lynn number - Heavens, that takes me back! Subconsciously, the singing helps them both - the Old Man can feel, really feel - even stronger than the hand holding - that his wife is still with him. He isn't much of a singer, but he finds that a low and croaking voice is joining in.

    The song finishes in a bout of coughing. The pair's senses haven't been honed yet, but it is impossible to mistake the sound of a weapon's click.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010